Critics of Christianity — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Critics of Christianity — Morning Devotions

Unfortunately there is the stereotype that Christians often think of themselves better than others. If we follow Christ, what can we do to change this?

By Chris WittsMonday 15 Aug 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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I’m a retired minister with the Salvation Army and sometimes spend a few minutes reflecting back on my ministry of work for God as I served and helped others. Now I’ve had many conversations with all sorts of people over the years in many different places. Some were pleasant, some not so nice. And one of my tasks was visitation into the hotels to distribute a magazine and collect donations.

And you had to pray hard for yourself before going through the front door because some of the patrons had drunk too much alcohol and a few were up for an argument. Once they spotted me one Friday night, one guy was startled to see me approaching him. He took a step back and with a loud voice, yelled, “why do you people think you’re better than me? You Christians, you’re always so superior.” It caught me off guard, he certainly had my attention.

And I wasn’t going to engage in a lengthy theological discussion that night. He was in no mood for that. So I left in my card and invited him to find me the next day, well, he never did.

But his reaction that night was not a surprise because I’ve met others who have had a negative reaction to Christianity. It usually starts with that angry question. “Why do you Christians think you’re better than everyone else? It’s usually some sort of emotional question, as well as some aggression there, but not always. Why are Christians labelled that way?

The value of humility and equality

Many people have a superior sense of themselves because they’re smarter, more intelligent or think they’re wiser. So it’s not just a Christian thing. But if you’ve said or thought that, let me apologise on behalf of all committed Christians. A real Christian would never say that he or she was better than you. It just doesn’t sit within the Christian thinking. No one is better than anyone else. We’re all equal in the sight of God. No one’s perfect except Jesus. He was born without sin, so it’s a wonderful and life changing experience to encounter and embrace Christianity as I did when I was 18 years of age and that turned my life around.

But not everyone has that experience, and I think they get confused on meeting a Christian and they feel they’re being judged in some way. Jesus calls on us to love and respect everyone we encounter. Hypocritical Christians do the exact opposite. They close the doors to the church of those who don’t believe, for example, they might look at the addict on the side of the street and shun them, and they think that these people are helpless and unworthy of their respect and kindness.

God wants us to meet others where they are at in life. Jesus went to those who were broken, unclean and those who are at the lowest points of their lives to provide them a way of hope. And you can do this too, by offering love and kindness to those that you may not know.

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And I think that’s showing a Christian attitude that says “I’m not better than you. I’ve discovered Jesus and he’s shown me the meaning of life.

God loves each and every one of his children. No matter what we’ve done. And as Christians we are called to stay humble. Having this ego that says “I’m holier than you” will only make non-Christians want to run further away from the faith. No one’s got the right to think themselves better than anyone else. The Bible teaches this principal quite clearly. How much better of a world would we have if everyone treated others as equal rather than those who are better than anyone else? Unfortunately, that’s where the church has a bad label.

The life God calls us to live

I know many won’t attend church because they feel ashamed and embarrassed that those who are inside the church are better than them. They don’t feel worthy now. I don’t accept that theory at all. Christians proved by their words and deeds that they are the same as everyone else. The only difference being that they’re trying to show Christ’s love. They admit they’re sinners, and they, too, want God’s mercy and forgiveness. And they take seriously what the Bible says, and they’re usually not always, but they’re usually linked to a church.

If you’re a practising Christian, you’ll know that people are watching you to see if your actions match your words. It’s one thing to say I’m a committed God believer and another to live out the truths of that faith seven days a week. I think it’s important to accept that you can’t change people or control everything. The only person you can control is yourself. Except that you don’t have all the answers. And God is working in everyone’s life for the better – yours included.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I’m ashamed when I think that people don’t like Christians because they sense we’re holier than everybody else or we’re better than everyone else. Lord, forgive us for that sin. Make us approachable and by the quality of our lives and our humility, have a witness that shows that we’re no better than anyone else and that God has done a work in our lives, Amen.